A song is in aid of rhino conservation and especially the rhino orphans has been produced. Click here to listen to it on Youtube.
"How long will the land lie parched and the grass in every field be withered? Because those who live in it are wicked, the animals and birds have perished." Jeremiah 12:4
Rhinos were close to extinction in the early 1990s. Two decades of painstaking conservation efforts succeeded in increasing the population of rhinos in Africa, from fewer than 2,500 in 1992, to over 25, 460 by 2012.
Rhinos at Risk
Now a sharp increase in poaching of rhinos is threatening to reverse decades of conservation efforts and plunge rhinos back into decline and the threat of extinction. In the last three years over 800 rhino have been killed, most of those in South Africa.
The drastic surge in rhino poaching is being driven by an insane demand in Asia for rhino horn. In Vietnam and China, people are willing to pay thousands of dollars for just a sliver of rhino horn. Rhino horn is considered a miracle drug and an aphrodisiac. Although there is no scientific evidence to support this bizarre belief, rhino horn can fetch $22,000 per kilo on the black market. Rhino poaching is now a R150 billion industry annually.
Rhino poaching is now listed as the third most lucrative criminal trade in the world - behind drugs and human trafficking (slavery). Well-equipped, sophisticated organised crime syndicates, using helicopters and automatic weapons, are ruthlessly targeting rhinos throughout Southern Africa.
War on Wildlife
As South Africa is home to most of the world's rhino population, this war against organised crime is mostly being fought in our game parks. Of the 20,405 white rhino in the world, 18 780 are in South Africa. 12,000 of those are in Kruger National Park. In 2011, Kruger National Park lost 252 of its rhino to poachers. As Kruger National Park has a 186 mile open border with Mozambique, it is particularly vulnerable to poachers. South Africa is home to 1,600 black rhino. The white rhino gets its name from a mispronunciation for wide as a description of their lip. White rhino weigh as much as 3 tonnes. Black rhino weigh up to 1.5 tonnes.
In 2012, 668 rhino were killed for their horn in South Africa, and 188 have already been killed so far in 2013. Rhino poaching has increased 400% in the last 10 years.
I Will Be Your Voice Campaign
In January 2012, Cape Town based singer/songwriter, author and motivational speaker Rozanne Visagie, composed a song dedicated to raising awareness about rhino poaching. The process and recording of the song, aptly named "I'll be your voice" was further inspired by Rozanne's encounter with Dr Will Fowlds, wildlife vet and trustee of the Chipembere Rhino Foundation and a realisation that the tragedy of poaching is not purely about the effects on the animals themselves, but also on the eco-systems that the people of Africa depend on.
The initiative aims to organise a number of rhino related fundraising events, and in future will support various conservation focused beneficiaries. The events will combine a dinner, a short auction and a concert showcasing local artists who want to be involved in supporting the chosen cause.
The first part of the campaign will raise awareness about rhino poaching, and will be supporting the work being done on anti-poaching initiatives by the Chipembere Rhino Foundation, which is based in the Eastern Cape.
In future, the aim is to create awareness and raise funds for other endangered species, and to support projects where local communities can be assisted so that they can understand the benefits of conservation. Education is an important legacy of the project, essentially to ensure that people understand how their decisions and interactions with nature, as well as by valuing biodiversity, can create sustainable futures.
For more information visit: www.iwillbeyourvoice.co.za.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” Proverbs 31:8
Cape Town: Fundraising Dinner and Concert at the Mount Nelson Hotel
8 June 2013, 18:30 for 19:00
Speaker: Dr. William Fowlds, Chipembere Foundation trustee, Animal Planet personality of Safari Vet School and Vets Go Wild, Author of the e-book “Poached”.
Concert by South Africa’s Freshlyground band.
The Ballroom, Mount Nelson Hotel, 76 Orange Street, Cape Town.
Cost: R800 per person, including 3 course dinner and concert. A fundraising auction will be held in support of the Chipembere Rhino Foundation.
Support the Campaign
Please note this event is not organised by Africa Christian Action.
See also www.thebibleandanimals.org.
Click here to see Dr Peter Hammond’s PowerPoint presentation: Rhinos, Poaching and Conservation.
Africa Christian Action
PO Box 23632
7735 Cape Town
Tel: 021-689 4481
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